Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Prometheus1354

Wastewater Infrastructure Needs

Recommended Posts

Wastewater Infrastructure;  not exactly a topic of discussion one hears around the dinner table. Unless of course like me, you work in the field.  Sadly it is all to often 'out of sight, out of mind' until it no longer works. Then the outrage fills the headlines and the politicos demand 'answers'!

For far too long now at all levels politicians have kicked the can down the road. Failure to properly invest in our Water & Wastewater Infrastructure is quickly catching up with us. Every day there are headlines of water main breaks flooding streets. Sewers back up into the streets during storms.  Towns of all size across the country are finding their water & wastewater systems on the brink.  The American Water Works Association (AWWA) & the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) have reported for years that we need massive increases in budgets specifically for those systems. In the US over $270 Billion is needed in the next decade for existing systems. It doesn't account for Needed NEW systems. 

https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/cat-item/wastewater/

Now there's no doubt the $271 Billion cited is a huge amount.  The truth of the matter is; that is the 'Dumbed down" number. That is the number AWWA & ASCE have agreed is 'palatable' for congress too handle. The real number is Over 1 Trillion dollars!!  We Can't keep 'kicking the can' anymore...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

$1 trillion divided by 131 million households in the US equals $7,407.41 per household. 'A lot of money' for some households, but incidental to a lot more.

Cities like Detroit and Flint are so far gone nobody is going to bother - they'll just rot. Some areas that have some reasonably good infrastructure will cost less per subscriber to maintain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

$1 trillion divided by 131 million households in the US equals $7,407.41 per household. 'A lot of money' for some households, but incidental to a lot more.

Cities like Detroit and Flint are so far gone nobody is going to bother - they'll just rot. Some areas that have some reasonably good infrastructure will cost less per subscriber to maintain.

The problem with that assessment; or at least one issue is the supposed 'shovel ready' stimulus 'spending' in the first term of the OBama yrs.  Now that was in direct response too the credit crisis of 2008-9. Over a Trillion dollars were dumped into the 'economy' to push back against the meltdown. The problem is/was that less than $200 Million actually found it's way into projects.  Well over half a trillion disappeared into the  pockets of unions Not involved with any construction. That whole Farce was nothing more than a huge payback too the unions for years of blind loyalty to the Left.

As for Detroit & Flint since you mention them specifically; they are a mess no doubt. My problem with any city like them is that any attempt to infuse cash into their infrastructure needs is a NEED to ensure that we Don't have a repeat of the OBama farce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 3/18/2020 at 11:31 AM, Meredith Poor said:

Cities like Detroit and Flint are so far gone nobody is going to bother - they'll just rot. Some areas that have some reasonably good infrastructure will cost less per subscriber to maintain.

To elaborate on this: infrastructure investment happens where the economic benefit justifies it.  Areas that attract and maintain profitable industry - i.e. areas that offer something of value to the world - earn the money to upkeep their infrastructure.  Areas that do not - E.g. the Detroit neighborhoods that rioted, rendering it impossible to do business there - are abandoned to their fates.

On that note, Flint Michigan is actually a different situation.  Lead pipes are safe enough if you maintain the water chemistry.  The local Flint operators were responsible for maintaining the water chemistry, which they failed to do.  To be clear, Flint Michigan is wholly responsible for the damage it did to itself. 

Flint only became a national issue when they decided to deflect responsibility.  This is called "corruption" - and it's one of the reasons businesses avoid Flint.  Flint's publicity stunt earned them a little sympathy, charity, and investment.  For that, they sacrificed any hope of businesses moving to their area.

There are entire countries that sacrifice the future for an immediate gain.  We call them "The 3rd World", and they look and behave a lot like Flint, Michigan.  I'm not convinced the similarity is a coincidence. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Houston had a water main break about a month ago, I do believe it was an 8' pipe that broke, flooded over an 8 lane highway and cut water off to most of Houston. I had no clue it had even happened. I had heard about it on the news on my way home, but I did nor realize it was the largest pipe carrying water into the city. I live on the very edges of Houston, and since my part of town had been annexed by Houston it is on it's own water and sewer system, so I never lost water. Hmmm, made me wonder if it really is wise to have so few, really large sources coming into the city or if it would be wiser to have more small pipelines bringing water in. If one breaks then it only affects a certain part of the city, not millions like this one did... But then most of what our government does doesn't seem to make sense anymore.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 3/22/2020 at 8:10 AM, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

To elaborate on this: infrastructure investment happens where the economic benefit justifies it.  Areas that attract and maintain profitable industry - i.e. areas that offer something of value to the world - earn the money to upkeep their infrastructure.  Areas that do not - E.g. the Detroit neighborhoods that rioted, rendering it impossible to do business there - are abandoned to their fates.

On that note, Flint Michigan is actually a different situation.  Lead pipes are safe enough if you maintain the water chemistry.  The local Flint operators were responsible for maintaining the water chemistry, which they failed to do.  To be clear, Flint Michigan is wholly responsible for the damage it did to itself. 

Flint only became a national issue when they decided to deflect responsibility.  This is called "corruption" - and it's one of the reasons businesses avoid Flint.  Flint's publicity stunt earned them a little sympathy, charity, and investment.  For that, they sacrificed any hope of businesses moving to their area.

There are entire countries that sacrifice the future for an immediate gain.  We call them "The 3rd World", and they look and behave a lot like Flint, Michigan.  I'm not convinced the similarity is a coincidence. 

It also got them a HUGE bag of money to help fix the problem. Personally I do believe it is the homeowners responsibility to replace the piping in their own homes. Not the government's problem. And if everyone would quit trying to be so cheap, they would have been using something besides cheap crap steel piping. Get what you pay for, but most people seem to think they should be able to pay for a turd and get a diamond.....

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last Dec. in LA there was a massive water main breakage that when repaired unveiled the main was a line that was over 100 years old. How did they know? The water main was made of wood.

Across this country we have a massive ticking time bomb. It's our Water & Wastewater infrastructure.  Far too many of those systems (51,000+ Water & a similar # for Wastewater) are at or beyond their design lifetimes.  Typically a water distribution system is built using pipe that has a historical recorded lifetime of 50-100 years based on the material used.  Iron pipe will last up to 100 years. Plastic pipe is a newer option (over the last 50 years) but it too can last upwards of a 100 years.  My point is, these systems though buried, shouldn't be ignored/forgotten.  Sadly, the old adage "Outta sight, outta mind" needs to be removed from out thought process.  

We NEED to get serious about this issue and Now! Not later, not 'next budget cycle' or 'After the next election we'll tackle it'. No! Now! The fuse has already been lit.  Will it be your town, your neighborhood, your home or place of work that is affected when a water line fails?? Contact your elected officials; local, state & federal and demand they start addressing this issue. Before the next failure...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0